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Performance Lab

Committed to nurturing emerging artists and new works, the Performance Lab was created out of the Piven Theatre Workshop training center to provide mentorship opportunities to theatre artists. Beginning with its acclaimed youth ensembles the Performance Project and The Young People’s Company, the Performance Lab has expanded to include multi-artist performance salons, staged readings, and new works festivals.

Past works include:

The Snow Queen
By Hans Christian Andersen Conceived, adapted and directed by Sarah Bendix and Mikalina Rabinsky

In This Body
Created and directed by Kira Silverstein

Plunder and The Human Capacity
By Jennifer Barclay

The Method
By Jeff McLane

By Scott Shallenbarger

Better Land
By Sean Cooper

Traveler to Unimaginable Lands
By Emilie Beck

McMillan and Shapiro and Duet In the Bushes or Laura: An Allegory
By Shira Piven

Back Off, Barkman
By Dick Cusack

Clean House and Eurydice
By Sarah Ruhl

365 Days/365 Plays by Suzan-Lori Parks
Week #14, which included the Chicago premieres of: The Birth Of Abraham Lincoln, We Were Civilized Once, Revolver Lover, Pig Meat Farming Man, You Wouldn’t Want To Take It With You Even If You Could, The President’s Day Sale and The Day After President’s Day Sale.


Young People's Company

Young People's Company is the most advanced class Piven offers to youth students, and has a long history of seeing outstanding performers and artists emerge from its folds. Each year the Young People's company program culminates in a week of full staged storytelling performances as part of our performance season.


Performance Project

Our most dedicated and advanced junior high school students are selected to join Performance Project. Over the course of the school year, ensemble members participate in an intensive training experience culminating in a fully staged week of performances, as part of our professional season.


Piven Improv Ensemble

Formed in 2013, the Piven Improv Ensemble is comprised of Piven teachers, advanced adult students, and Piven alumni. They have been featured at Stage 773 LaughBattles, performed in the Ragdale Ring series, and headlined the Piven Improvisation Series in February of 2014.